According to IBM, it won’t be long before human knowledge via AI and the Internet of Things will double every 12 hours! Let’s go back in time at how this compares to earlier information doubling rates.  In 1982, a genius inventor, Buckminster Fuller documented and then anticipated this information speed-up. Here’s what he saw:

  • 1800-1900 Information took 100 years to double
  • By 1945 Information was doubling every 25 years
  • By 1982 The doubling rate increased to 13 months

IBM anticipates information will soon double every 12 hours!

What does this have to do with learning?  Information is what feeds learning. But it is easy to feel overloaded. Too much of it can lead to stress that reduces learning! As a 21st Century learner there are few ways you can avoid the vast information haystacks containing what you want and need.  You also have to process data in whatever form you find it (A meeting? Report? Article? Conversation? Virtual Reality? Class? App? Podcast?).  And…as you process information, you also have to recognize and adjust for bias and manipulation. After all information is power, and various degrees of distortion and corruption always lurk in power’s shadows.

Your dealings with the information world don’t stop there. You still have to bring what you need into your working and short-term memories, and then convert it into the memories, skills, and attitudes you want to preserve. No need for despair, though. Thanks to insights from neuroscience, psychology, and adult learning we know more about how to better use our brains to process information and turn it into something useful. And there is an increasing array of practices, tools and services to help sort through the fog for better learning results.

Think about it.  How sharp are your information processing and learning skills in the face of this information proliferation? What are you doing to keep yourself vibrant and to cope with the information saturated world around you?

Next up: Reason #3 (of 5) to upgrade yourself as a learner: To co-evolve with technology

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